May 14–Jun 29, 2022

Making the Museum Reinhard Ernst

Maki and Associates, Tokio
Christinenstrasse 18-19, 10119 Berlin Map
Tue-Fri 11 am–6:30 pm, Sun-Mon 1–5 pm

The Museum Reinhard Ernst, scheduled to open in spring 2023 in the city centre of Wiesbaden, is an 8,910 square metre facility exhibiting Reinhard Ernst’s private collection of abstract art. Funded entirely by the Reinhard & Sonja Ernst Foundation, the project is the culmination of a planning process beginning in 2010, and of the long friendship between Reinhard Ernst and Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki. The exhibition Making the Museum Reinhard Ernst documents the intense design and construction process via sketches, drawings, models, photos and artefacts organised under four general themes: Context, Form, Detail and Construction. Accordingly, the space at Aedes is divided into four quadrants that use a variety of materials to provide insights into this complex building project.

Since the 1970s, Wiesbaden-based businessman Reinhard Ernst has compiled an extensive, important collection of more than 860 works of abstract art. For quite some time, he had a desire to make them accessible to the public. This gave rise to the idea of a museum for abstract art, which would exhibit works from the ‘Reinhard Ernst Collection’ as well as loans from other museums. From this vision a specific plan was produced. In 2016, the Reinhard & Sonja Ernst Foundation submitted a proposal to the city of Wiesbaden to build and operate a museum at its own expense. After a public participation procedure and cross-party approval, a centrally located property was provided to the foundation based on a 99-year lease. For this period, the foundation will be in charge of maintaining services and financing the exhibitions. Aedes directors Kristin Feireiss and Hans-Jürgen Commerell point out:

‘We see an exemplary model in the way Reinhard Ernst and the city of Wiesbaden have managed this deal. In Berlin and elsewhere, museum projects of similar nature sometimes turn into monuments to the politically responsible at the expense of the taxpayer. This case is different.’ As an internationally appealing address for abstract art with art education for young people, a central meeting point with a restaurant, a museum shop, an event hall and a public forum, the intention of the Museum Reinhard Ernst is to enrich Wiesbaden and the region. As such, a passionate collector’s vision will create a contemporary house of culture for everyone in the year 2023.

The focus of the exhibition Making the Museum Reinhard Ernst is not on finished items or images, but on the work in progress – highlighting the acts of thinking, making, and construction, rather than presentation. Based on four thematic areas – Context, Form, Detail and Construction – a large number of sketches, drawings and models by Maki and Associates as well as artefacts and video material provide insights into the complex process of creating the new building. The exhibited items presented on the four thematic quadrants at Aedes will be supplemented by photos from the photographers Klaus Helbig and Frank Marburger, who have documented the making of the museum from the beginning.